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Is this a good masters for a psyd program?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Miss Student, Jul 6, 2012.

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  1. Miss Student

    Miss Student

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    I need help with understanding what route is best for me. I have the option of attending a graduate program to get a masters in clinical mental health (have an LPC license) or waiting another year to try to apply to clinical psychology programs. I didn't get the greatest GRE score and my undergrad GPA was a 2.85. I know I have to do a masters first to improve my grades and to show I can handle graduate level work, but im wondering if a counseling degree will lead me down the path towards a PsyD. Any input is appreciated!
  2. mcvcm92

    mcvcm92

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    Programs that lead to professional counseling licensure aren't really the best programs for clinical psychology. Going to a M.A in Clinical Psychology or Experimental Psychology is probably the best bet.
  3. Doctor Eliza

    Doctor Eliza

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    That said, in most states, a licensable LPC would be more valuable if you do not complete a doctorate (e.g., decide it isn't for you, have problems obtaining an internship, cannot complete your dissertation.).

    A friend of mine ran into serious problems with her dissertation and wanted to use her master's in clinical psychology to practice. She ran into a lot of problems with this in the 2 states she tried to obtain employment. Almost all jobs wanted a license. The psychologist boards would not grant an independent license to a master's level person. The counselor and social worker boards wouldn't license her because her education was in clinical psych. It was a shame because she had lots of experience training and practicing as a therapist, but she was stuck.

    So, I think the answer to your question is complex. You need to think about how sold you are on the doctorate and if you want to have a licensable master's or not.

    Best,
    Dr. E
  4. Miss Student

    Miss Student

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    I definitely want to pursue a PsyD in the future, but due to my husband being in the military, relocating is not an option for the next 5 years or so. I guess I'm just hoping having a masters will help me gain more experience, increase my gpa, and hopefully make me a possible candidate for a program. Could I get research experience with a different department if I'm not in their program?
  5. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychology Fellow Moderator

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    It'd depend on the individual university, which is why it never hurts to ask. Heck, you might even be able to latch on to studies (or propose your own) with advisors in the department itself.
  6. PsychStudent05

    PsychStudent05

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    Hi Miss Student,

    I was in a similar situation so I understand the frustration and confusion. You can perfectly practice with a Master's degree. I know many people who work in private practice with just a MA (Not sure if there are rules/laws per state about this).

    In many doctorate programs, you can obtain your Master's in year 2 and then your doctorate at the end of your program, so that's another option as well. If a PsyD is what you're looking for, perhaps trying to increase your GRE score and/or getting more clinical experience to make up for your GPA.

    Hope that helps :)
  7. Doctor Eliza

    Doctor Eliza

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    So since you won't be able to relocate for 5 years, it is likely you will want to practice as a master's level clinician in your current location for a while before starting your doctorate, right? If I were in your shoes, I would talk to the master's programs in question and ask if their grads are able to obtain licenses in the state in question. Experimental programs may provide good training for entry into a doctorate, but you won't be able to practice. this wouldn't be an issue if you wanted to go into a research career, but it doesn't sound like that is what you want.

    Also, i never researched PsyD's, I'm a PhD, but with clinical PhD's you usually will have to retake all your master's level coursework in your PhD program. Counseling PhD's sometimes require master's to enter so they don't do that as much. It is worth researching this issue with regard to the PsyD.

    :luck:
    Dr. E
  8. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    If you don't mind me asking, what did your friend end up doing? Feel free to PM me if you don't want to post publicly.
  9. Doctor Eliza

    Doctor Eliza

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    It is a sad story. Last I heard she moved in with family because she was unable to find professional work and coffee shops etc wouldn't hire her due to being "overqualified". She is still hoping to finish her degree but soon she will be running up against program time limits. Also it was a professional school, so she had to pay for her degree, so she really needs to finish if she wants to ever get out of debt.

    It is silly, she's certainly a competent professional. I suspect she's the victim of a turf war between different types of mental health professionals.

    Dr. E
  10. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    :( Can she maybe scrap her original diss idea and do something fairly simple for a diss --or at least something with straight-forward, easy participant recruitment? I know someone who took ten years to complete her PhD, largely because she spent 3 years post-internship struggling through her diss with a very hard to recruit population. I'm kind of baffled she stuck with it because she has zero interest in pursuing research professionally.
  11. Doctor Eliza

    Doctor Eliza

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    I think this may be her second diss topic...

    I made many mistakes in grad school, but the best decision i ever made was designing a diss study with straightforward stats and hypotheses that could be tested with a college student population! :)

    Dr. E
  12. Shatani

    Shatani Real Life Doctory Type

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    gawd, that is horrifying!

    i didnt find out until fairly recently how useless a masters in clinical psych is in a lot of states! i really had no idea that there was literally no independent license one could get....and i went through that whole "overqualified" thing when i thought very seriously about dropping out of my program with my masters (before i knew i wouldve been screwed!)...that is the ultimate indignity. i really hope your friend's tide shifts in her favor....that is brutal. :(
  13. ClinPsychEnthus

    ClinPsychEnthus Psy.D. candidate, VA intern

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    Just to add a different take on this, I pursued a terminal Masters and LPC, and then decided to go back to school for my Psy.D. because I wanted more training in working with CBT for complex populations... and I have been told repeatedly along the way that the LPC is a strength. At some practicums, I've been told, your agency can bill (or bill at a greater reimbursement rate) for your work, you have an extra layer of 'coverage' so to speak if you were to make any mistakes, and you have already demonstrated a level of competency in your clinical knowledge, work and years of experience.

    I've been told by several people that this is also seen as a plus when applying for internship, though I'm not sure if anyone can know that for sure with the imbalance.

    Additionally, if you have any interest in Supervising in the future, especially in any multi-disciplinary settings, I've been told that having the LPC and maintaining it can allow you to 'count' supervision for Masters' students (which often must be done by someone with the credentialing they are seeking), though again this may be here say...
  14. wigflip

    wigflip

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    I think this varies by state. If I'm up on the latest here, LCSWs can supervise anyone, LMFTs only MFTs. LPCs are brand new.

    OP, given your circumstances (GRE, GPA, mobility) it sounds like a licensable masters (LPC etc) is perhaps the best the way to go. That way, if you don't continue on to the doctorate, at least you won't have wasted the time and money--you'll have the option of getting licensed. And there are PsyD programs that require a masters coming in, so as others have suggested, it could situate you to apply for those types of programs.

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